A post from Quora.. Will synthetic oil become cheaper than conventional as more cars start using it? Answered Nov 21 Â· Philip Angevine, I spent almost 40 years in the refining and petrochemicals R&D arena. Upvoted by Kai Herrmann, Automotive mechanic for 15 years. First, let me give some personal background. related to the topic. I joined Mobil R&D in 1976. At that time they were doing fleet tests for Mobil 1, and the results were awesome. Everyone was excited and amazed about this great advance. I had the great privilege of meeting and working with a talented scientist-inventor, the late Bill Garwood. As such, I got a fairly good understanding of lubricants and their place in the oil industry. Let's talk about financial drivers. For fuels refining, the goal mindset is: (1) economy of scale, (2) keep the plant running (stream factor is great), (3)) throughput is king (squeeze out more barrels per day), (4) avoid risk -- technical, political, and legal. However, in a lubes refining environment, QUALITY is king. The profit opportunity is now measured also by the marketing folks (more upside) "and not just the manufacturing side. Now, for Mobil 1, the profit center is also "chemicals". FYI, at ExxonMobil ("XOM") the name Mobil is retained mostly for the synthetic oil image (rightly so) of high quality. XOM will maintain that image as long as possible. Now for the marketing item: most people think of gasoline as a true commodity-- sort of like a load of bread. They don't equate the value as anything but price and maybe octane. However, XOM (and others) have quantified the importance of additives for engine cleanliness (fuel injectors, intake vales, etc.). This idea is magnified bigtime for lubes. An old colleague of mine once said about synthetics: " This is for guys who pet their cars more than their wives" -- maybe some truth to it. My point is that some folks will recognize the value of synthetics and will pay the higher price -- whatever the market will bear. While there could be downward pressure on price, I'm betting that the consumer will pay the differential. P.S. Think about the shrinking car size (ignoring the sort-lived SUV bubble). There are the two energy costs: the car weight (load) and engine losses (friction). As the load declines, the friction loss becomes more of an issue. This is where synthetics become more beneficial. My assessment is that synthetics will maintain their value in the foreseeable future.